It didn’t start off as a good morning. I was awake through the night and felt like someone had welded my jawbones during the night. I was so groggy after twelve hours in bed. I knew I needed to get up but it took a few attempts and much self willing.
When I was up I went into Burn Mode. I started to panic. My feet and hands were blue with the lack of circulation; most of my blood supply going to my back and face in a spicy mix of mental chilli.
What was I panicking about? Money, school, the books I haven’t read, college, having to wash my hair, never seeing Quarter Pounder again, Mike Ross’s groin injury. I felt like some evil high-cheekboned queen was swirling Tobasco into my sour cream brain and mixing it up into a fiery, disgusting mess.
So I set the timer on my phone. In ten minutes I’ll cut myself, in ten minutes I’ll text Quarter Pounder, in ten minutes I’ll sit in a heap and cry over my bills, then fifteen minutes, then twenty… And while I was waiting for the ding I got dressed into my walking clothes (sloppies really) and my feet warmed up in my well worn runners. Then I had a hug from My Lady and told her how I was feeling and then I got the dogs into the car and drove them to the promenade beside the sea. Go Dotty.
As I was watching Sven and Anna run free (Sigmund has to stay on the lead – being eager to sow his wild puppy oats) I had a bit of a lightbulb moment. Why did I fixate on Quarter Pounder? And on Father Rory Best before him? And I realised that going back to bad relationships where I get hurt and I’m lied to and kept a sort of shameful secret is a form of self harm. I think I did it with my short lived marriage too. Is this normal for a victim of sexual assault? Have I been so desperate for punishment for being drunk that night that I have chased emotional punch bagging ever since? No matter how many times QP or FRB or Husband let me down I went back for more. Anytime they lied or cheated I succumbed: I enjoyed the temporary power dynamic of being wanted back, of them begging. I had control. I had power over a man.
Now I am the first to say I’m no picnic in the park on a summer’s day. I’ve lied, I’ve cheated, I’ve screwed up but usually out of revenge rather than boredom. Does that condone it? Of course not. I’ve done bad things and I am difficult, almost impossible, to live with. But I’m starting to realise I don’t deserve punishment. I’m human and I want to be a better person. I’m not going to blame this BPD diagnosis for every wrong I’ve ever done. I’m responsible for me, as QP told me that ill fated day with the corkscrew. But I have to stop beating myself up for the mistakes I’ve made and try to get the right help so I don’t fuck up the rest of my thirties. Which is meant to be a nice decade.
So, getting help. I’m going to Pieta House tomorrow. My Lady called and explained the situation. I don’t think I’ll be going back to Chamomile Counsellor. I cried on the phone. I was so nervous taking to the guy, who I think is Australian and aren’t they all full of the joys surfing and BBQing all the time? At first he said it might be next week but after a chat he got me in tomorrow as a priority case. I can’t even express my relief. I will have the same therapist each time I go and I can move on a bit rather than hold on for something to happen knowing that my resolve is ebbing away like the tide on Sandymount till you can’t see anything but a ferry floating on nothingness.
I also had an interesting chat with Miss Marple who shared some of her own emotional troubles. I had known of these but she spoke more candidly about the internal struggles she faced throughout her younger years. Things aren’t much different now than they were in the forties. She then had a gem: “Get up, get out and feck them all”. Talk to your grannies, they know some good shit.
Twenty hours. I just have to make it through twenty hours.
*I want to thank The Valedictorian and Posh Spice for endless texts and voice snippets over the last few days. Judging candidates on The Apprentice and working out where the real Renée Zellwegger is gone has been a god send. I have other people to thank but those two have connected me to a world outside my own little family cocoon.